Friday, 30 March 2012

Open Educational Resources at UAL and MIT

There are many free resources on the Internet, we know this;  the ones known as  Open  Educational Resources: (OER's) comprise educational material that can be freely used by anyone without any copyright restrictions. An OER can be anything from a streamed video like this one showing the sand casting process to this link to an entire course on Anthropology

The sandcasting video, is from Process Arts, managed by Chris Follows at University of the Arts London (UAL)
Process Arts  focuses on "making" in art and design . This  site shows  insights into the acts of making and encourages users to share knowledge and experience online. You can  go there to explore  traditional and contemporary creative technical processes , and see work and the processes involved in its making online through  video, text, image and sound .
here are the most viewed items from Process Arts. Look to the right of the page for a full list of Resources

Interesting courses including bibliographies, online texts and images etc  are available from the MIT site where the Anthropology course linked above was taken from. Courses include many other subject areas of interest such as media studies, history, literature, music and theatre arts, women's and gender studies. MIT is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology whose mission  is "to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century".

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

new link on Databases A-Z for Cardiff Met students and staff

A link has been added to Databases A-Z  (Electronic Library, Cardiff Met portal).
The new link is to the Carl Giles archive.
My dad used to get the Giles Annual every Christmas and laugh reading it. I used to like looking at the pictures especially those with Granny in , she was scarier than both my two nannas put together. The images now available to you in the archive will serve you well if you are after comments of a sardonic nature on social customs, political shennanigans and general atmospheric backround for life in Britain . They are illustrations for art historians and historians , arts and humanities students and just to puzzle over and/or  laugh at.
A Youtube video on the Giles archive is found here 

The CARL GILES archive is one part of the British Cartoon Archive.  Previously known as the Centre for the Study of Cartoons and Caricature, the BCA was established in 1973, as a research centre and picture library, based upon a unique archive of over 140,000 pieces of cartoon artwork supported by a reference library of newspaper cuttings, books, catalogues and magazines. The Archive is widely used by researchers, authors, teachers, the media and students and is to be found at the University of Kent at Canterbury

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Materials are Poetic: Mtrl

holographic glass

In order to reach out to the design community, ASM, a US-based Materials Information Society, has set up /MTRL. Chris Lefteri Design was commissioned to provide a range of materials from the ASM collection, complete with extensive information and images, as a free on-line material database . So far, the database consists of 250 materials presented in a way that specifically targets designers and their needs.

I've seen many image databases in my time and  this one is a real find and especially useful as all our courses at Cardiff become  increasingly concerned with the physical  experiences of Materials and Making.

Mtrl is great fun and at the same time hugely informative. It is  crammed with well organised images and facts about materials and their properties. Here you can choose to search for images and information about materials by their 'form' (eg firm, powder, resin) 'personality' (eg dynamic , extreme, honest ), different types of ceramic, glass, plastic etc etc etc. It includes a section listing an unbelievable amount of 'additives and ingredients' (Floam anyone?).

Lightben transparent honeycomb core panel

It is  a lot more entrancing and unusual than you might expect of a materials database and is  at the same time of immense practical use. The database offers links from each type of material in the database to suppliers and also  gives  its eco standing (biodegradable/recyclable/renewable?)), its key features, all physical features,  its price range, major applications for use and  engineering properties. A veritable  alchemists shopping list..........

Thursday, 15 March 2012

the world's best free online learning resources

Paul Andrews is the new head of Newport University's Centre for Digitally Enhanced Learning (CDEL) .  He is an advocate of getting things done cost effectively and more often than not, with no cost at all and as such runs a successful website  that showcases the world’s best free online learning resources. For a site/service to be included on the website  it must be free, easy to use and produce high quality resources that can be used on any web enabled platform. Well known resources such as Twitter and Flickr are in the company of many many more you will not have heard of. Categories include sound and music, images, mind mapping, game creation, digital scrapbooks and collages and sound recording and editing. Something for everyone here...have a look!

Monday, 5 March 2012

The Lively Morgue launched on Tumblr

The Lively Morgue For many decades, most of the photographs housed in the newsroom archive of The New York Times — known affectionately as “the morgue” — have been hidden away from the public eye in filing cabinets and manila folders.
The newspaper actually does publish  archival photographs every day and features photos in Lens the NYT photography blog in the 'Lively Morgue feature, an occasional series introduced in September 2010. So far, they have published 17 collections including a fabulous collection of 19 dance shots.
The morgue has at least 10 million frames in all. There are five million to six million prints and contact sheets, each sheet representing many discrete images. There are also  300,000 sacks of negatives, ranging in format size from 35 millimeter to 5 by 7 inches. The picture archive also includes about 4.7 gigabytes worth of imagery on each of 13,500 DVDs.
The NYT has now started to publish the images in greater quantities, again as “The Lively Morgue,” on Tumblr  the social blogging site. On the Tumblr, each photograph can be flipped over so that viewers can see notations on the reverse side, which explain the photos’ path at The Times over the years and there are notes about how to interpret them.
visit Tumblr to see the first images in an ongoing series.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Van Eyck in detail: The Ghent Altarpiece

The Mystic Lamb of 1432 by Hubert and Jan van Eyck, known as the Ghent Altarpiece, recently underwent emergency conservation within the Villa Chapel in St. Bavo Cathedral in Ghent.
Every inch  of the altarpiece was scrutinized and professionally photographed at extremely high resolution in both normal and infrared light.
The photographs were then digitally “stitched” together to create highly detailed images which allow for study of the painting at unprecedented microscopic levels. The website itself contains 100 billion pixels. These high-definition digital images are now available on an interactive digital website, “Closer to Van Eyck: Rediscovering the Ghent Altarpiece”
The website features overall photographs of the polyptych in its opened and closed positions, and from there users can zoom closer into the details of individual panels of the altarpiece, down to a microscopic level.  Scrolling and zooming features are guided by a thumbnail image to indicate the location and size of the detail on the altarpiece. Users are also able to open two windows simultaneously to compare any two images from the site.

This project, funded by the Getty Foundation ran from April 2010 through June 2011 and consisted of three main segments: an urgent conservation treatment, an assessment of the current condition of the altarpiece, and a campaign of technical documentation. Its goal was to establish whether a full restoration treatment of Van Eyck’s famous polyptych was necessary in the near future, which indeed turned out to be the case.